Spring is just around the corner and this time of year we all get a little bit anxious for the new season and the new adventures that come with it. Dogs included. But before you spring headfirst into the warm wonders of the outdoors, take a moment and make sure your dog springtime ready.
Spring Checklist for Your Dog
After a long winter most people and pets can’t wait to get back outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. Here are a few things you can do to help make the transition into spring a little easier on you and your dog.
The beginning of spring is when most dogs will start shedding their warm winter coats for their thinner summer ones. The best way for you to help is with regular brushings. Depending on your dog’s coat there are brushes specifically designed for shedding. You may want to talk to your vet for a recommendation if your dog sheds a lot. After a nice thorough brushing, you may want to wash your dog and clean his ears and trim his nails if it’s been awhile.
Flea, Tick & Heartworm Prevention
If you don’t use flea, tick or heartworm medicines year-round now’s the time of year you’ll want to start back up. As the weather warms up, not only are you spending more time outdoors, but the pests come back out too. It’s easier to prevent these pests than get rid of them after the fact, which is why prevention is key. Talk to your vet if you have any questions about what medicines are right for your dog.
While you’re spring cleaning the rest of your house, make sure you clean all your dog’s stuff too. A wash with a mild detergent or some vinegar should be enough to get rid of the fur, dander and bacteria from his bedding. Wash any of his toys that you can. Thoroughly clean and sanitize his food dishes and eating mats. Now’s also a great time to check your dog’s collar, leash and harness. Clean them as directed or replace if they are worn-out or are no longer the correct size.
Check Your Yard
You’ll want to get outside before your dog, especially if you live in Minnesota or anywhere else where the ice and snow builds up over the winter and check your yard for any hazards. Inspect your fence for any holes or weak points where you dog could escape and check the yard of any hazards that your dog could hurt himself on and repair or remove before allowing him to play.
Not only is spring a great time for cleaning, but it’s also great time to handle any paperwork that may have taken a back seat during winter. Do a quick check of your dog’s documentation to make sure all of his important information is up to date including tags, licenses, vaccines and microchip.
Ease into Exercise
Spring is a great time to explore the outdoors with your canine friend. You can go for hiking and jogging together, but if your dog has been cooped up all winter, you might want to take things slow, especially if either of you is a little out of shape. Heading back out to crowed places after a long winter mostly indoors with you could be a little overwhelming as well. Take it slow at first and watch for signs of distress or exhaustion. A great way to get your pup ready for lots of outdoor play as the weather changes is booking a day at a doggie daycare facility. He’ll get lots of exercise and lots of time socializing and playing with other dogs.
Lucky Dog Pet Lodge has the largest outdoor play area of any dog daycare in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro. We even have special K9Grass that is specially designed for dogs to play on. The non-toxic, antimicrobial grass eliminates mud and increases cleanliness and safety – great for spring when there’s usually mud and melting snow everywhere else. If you’re interested in scheduling a spring play date for your pup at our Bloomington, MN dog daycare, give us a call at (952) 767-2040 or contact us online.